- Posts: 1358
Sorry this response is a little delayed, however I do want to put my two cents in.
Like MOST of you, I do agree that "BLACK LIVES MATTER" but like MOST of you, I also agree SOMETIMES people take things too far!
That being said- I was at the protests!
We were in Eugene Or, Portland OR (For over a month) and KENOSHA WI (during the shooting)
This being said- we were not there necessarily for BLM - but more for HOLD THE POLICE ACCOUNTABLE !
To me it doesn't matter what color you are, or where you are from, we should all be nice to each other, period!
That being said I have NO TOLERANCE for hate groups, including but not limited too NAZI(s) Proud BOYS and EVEN THE EXTREME BLM side of things.
Now please understand I do have children of mixed races, it really doesn't bother me. However hating someone for something as stupid as the color of their skin is not right, by any means, and does not follow the jedi way
Only Siths deal with Absolute- That being said we are all humans on this planet trying to survive together.
So It irritates me that not only "Proud BOYS" target peaceful people like myself- when we are just trying to get Law enforcement officials to be held liable for their actions the way any of us would be (especially when they have been trained and we haven't)
So that being said I'd like to take a moment to talk about the other side of things
In Portland, at the protest they had "RIOT RIBS" which was basically free food to anyone- including the homeless, But BLM made it a POINT to send the WHITEs to the back of the line, THEY MADE IT A POINT to tell us we were there to be the front lines and PROTECT BLM, and we were not allowed to talk on the megaphone (even though i have been abused by police myself in the past) ... and in APPLETON WI they tried making WHITE FEMALES who PARTICIPATED pay! like literately PAY to be part of their movement! all because apparently female slave owners years ago resided in that area...
SO my wife and myself are standing there, FIGHTING FOR PEACE, and we got hatred on all sides! BLM, NAZI, and POLICE!
and again, all we want is equality for ALL!
So our travels (we are full time RVers) then took us to Kenosha (to see my family in my hometown), where the man was shot by police just after a week of us being in town- so they started protesting, Being that we have been doing this for MONTHS and they are only DAYS in- my Wife and I stock the truck with snacks and water and she took it down to Kenosha to pass them out. We know how thirsty n hungry you get out there.
AGAIN my wife did not discriminate, she gave water/food to EVERYONE and ANYONE who needed it, Cops, proud boys and BLM protesters.
That night, that kyle kid opened fire- just a few yards from where my wife was parked handing out food.
Now from what we saw- is very different from what the media says- The live stream will show you what happened but what is not being told is that kyle walked around to everyone asking if they needed a medic and if you replied with NO he would then respond with "You will, You will."
That being said I think that kid who crossed state borders with a loaded gun (all while under age) came there with the intention of NOT BEING PEACEFUL!
It has taken my family some time to cope and realize just how lucky we got that night, and how grateful we are for still being together, However it also brought another source of pain we feel for the family of those lost that night, as it COULD HAVE BEEN US!
I'm not trying to choose sides (again I dislike all hate groups) and I am not trying to persuade anyone one way or another!
I JUST WANT PEACE!
People should be treated as just that, PEOPLE!
Cops should be held to a higher standard and not get away with wrongful murder!
And ALL HATE GROUPS need to come to an end.
But MOST IMPORTANTLY - we must stop the violence, we live in an age of technology and communication and should be able to use those to our advantage in understanding each other. We need peace- we need to be able to settle our arguments and disagreements without someone losing a loved one or in fear for their own family.
We have taken the tear gas, the rubber bullets, Had people try to run us over, aim guns at us, ect. Been there done that, and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
This is not the world I want my children raised in, This is not the world I wanted to be in as an adult.
So I'm asking everyone- pass along the message of PEACE!
PEACE MAN! i know it sounds like some hippie crap - but I think we can all agree we would rather argue with our neighbors than be at war with them.
And if anyone has questions regarding what we experienced, or anything please ask- I have nothing to hide.
but even if you disagree with my stance on police or w.e - we shouldn't disagree on PEACE!
REMAIN PEACEFUL! The kids of the future will thank you!
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Your response, my brother, is most welcome. You spoke the truth. You spoke from experience. You spoke from love. And that's the most anyone can ask for. I truly appreciate everything you and your family have done in the struggle for equality and justice. I thank you for taking the risks and being a light in a dark place.
I'm sure it was quite a surprise to be there. I can only imagine. You were there at ground zero in the vortex; the collision of love and hate, good and evil, positive and negative.
I am glad to hear your story and that you and your family came through it safely, especially knowing that... it could have been you.
"It could have been me." is a statement I want us to marinate on. Sometimes it seems like we have to get far too close to say this, to truly feel what someone else felt. However this is the very reason for the BLM protests. "It could have been me" is something I definitely feel having survived situations with the police that could have easily gone sideways. It is the fear that black people feel when they see those flashing lights behind them. Sometimes your heart even skips a beat because you don't know this officer any more than he knows you. To him, you have the potential to be a Kyle and therefore he treats you with that potential in mind. And because you know and understand his fear you see his potential to be a Kyle and to kill you based on his biases against against your color or class.
"It could have been me" is something all black people feel especially when we understand the danger, the action and reaction danger, in not holding police accountable so that they have no fear of playing judge, jury, and executioner, knowing that all they have to say is that they were afraid of us.
unarmed. doesn't matter.
educated. doesn't matter.
rich. doesn't matter.
successful. doesn't matter.
legal permits. doesn't matter.
gender. doesn't matter.
polite. doesn't matter.
in your own home. doesn't matter.
innocent. doesn't matter.
Everything we are told to do by 'concerned citizens' to protect ourselves in these situations are all things we've been doing for longer than they have thought to offer that advice. We've quietly had to adapt over decades but all the while developing mistrust, not just for the police, but for the society that allows them to get away with being bigger and worse criminals than many of the people they arrest.
And we know it isn't all police officers. That's obvious. But we have to recognize that being a police officer offers a position of power and authority and that is desirable for many people who seek some measure of these things. That especially includes racists. Even some who may not start the job with these thoughts and ideologies can be indoctrinated over time by racist officers who constantly attack inclusion and diversity and have their 'special names' for different ethnic groups.
No one just "does their jobs". Because we're not machines. We have opinions. And when racists share their opinions on the job it works to dehumanize their subjects. Once they and other cops accept certain people as less human well then it really doesn't matter to them what happens to those people as a result of their actions. To them its just "one less _____".
We don't even worry about the most of the kyles of the world. We know they fundamentally exist. We worry about the Kyles who get older and get badges. And then when they do the same thing their fellow boys in blue give them pats on the back and hand shakes and, like a video game, there's usually no real consequences.
And even if you have a Kyle who isn't racist... because these are not the only people who should never get badges, never be allowed to operate with the authority of the state, what if you have a person who is simply a psychopath who just wants to kill and terrorize people? Why don't they do it? Because there are consequences in real life. But if we're signaling to them that they can do it and get paid for it... then not only will that attract them into being police officers but it will also make them target minorities, not necessarily because they're racist but because there are less consequences for targeting those groups.
That's what the protests are really about.
The only thing said that I would disagree with is that there exists an "extreme BLM". I disagree because as someone who has been part of organizing something before and being on exactly that type of phone call, there are always going to be people who think your methods are too soft; who think whatever protest you're talking about is not going to create enough of a consequence that the other side will feel. Those extremists are NOT BLM and aren't really trying to be. They are their own agents of chaos and I say chaos because they commit to these actions without knowing what the end result will be. They are simply emotionally charged with negative energy that needs somewhere to go.
When a terrorist attack creates collateral damage, there is more damage than whatever was caught in the blast radius. The people who were outside the radius were also damaged. You're forcing them to see their own people dying and suffering, knowing it could have been them. If they had walked to the store a little sooner or the bomb veered a few feet off course... any number of things could have changed events because even if they are different from the target person they are no different from the people around the target person.
The threat increases when you live in certain neighborhoods, and when you belong to multiple hated groups. Plenty of men don't like women. So when its a black lesbian in a low income housing unit that's like 4 different groups and the target over that person head is 4 times bigger. And it's not like police don't abuse whites also. We know they do. But they don't target white people. If they have to respond to a call then a white person can be in just as much danger but they're not searching for them. They're not pulling them to the side and asking if they belong in nicer communities.
The reason BLM has to manage white protesters differently from black protesters is not because they want to. And I understand if this never gets explained or explained well and so it wouldn't surprise me if many white supporters come away disappointed because they don't understand.
In their minds they're helping and should be part of the "us" that is protesting. But the organizers are fully aware of the potential threat of people claiming to be part of the "us" who have hidden agendas. Even black people often have hidden agendas and no one has a psychic detector to figure out who everyone is. If such a thing existed then the police should use it to prevent racists from ever joining. But alas, such a magical device does not exist. And therefore organizers have to do the best they can. If whites are grouped together, it's less likely that a white person embedded in the crowd (like a Kyle) who is there to cause chaos and havoc, can throw something at a police officer, making it look like the hurled object came from black protestors because that's what the police are going to think. That's what the news coverage will think.
Black people with extreme views may at least not be the first one to provoke something but may wait to see if others do. If they see a window break they may take that as a cue to start looting a local business. But they're not necessarily going to throw something at the cops to endanger the black people around them the way that a white racist kyle would. And so if you group the whites together you minimize that possible threat. Most of us have seen whites in videos, breaking windows or setting a business on fire. And they know when they do it the protest will be blamed. They know BLM will get blamed for it. And they know it's counter productive to what BLM is trying to accomplish. The truth is they want the chaos and don't truly care that much about the cause. Even the black people who do it. The cause of BLM isn't about revenge or retribution. It's about justice. That's different. That's the cause. If your agenda is revenge then you're not there as BLM. You're representing your own selfish interests, driven by your amped up emotions and the anger and hate that have developed in your consciousness. This is not construction, only destructive.
By keeping the whites together you also limit the ability for those revenge seekers who are black to do things and blame it on white people in the crowd. I've heard people like that, one the phone, in conference calls, and they try to radicalize other people and push for a more radical approach. So you have to consider them too and if it was a big integrated mix of people you would have very little control.
I wouldn't give anyone a megaphone who wasn't pre-vetted as part of the BLM organization. Because you don't know what they're going to say or what kind of chant they might try to start. "Pigs in a blanket"? That was terrible and became a bigger weapon for the opposition to kill positive change then any positive effect that it may have been intended by the unthinking individual who started it. But if you only see black people on the megaphone you may not notice that it's not just any black person who gets it. It's not random because it cannot be random because you cannot trust everyone, black or white, to say the right thing; when what they say is going to be associated with BLM. So anyone on the mic, any reporter, is going to attribute those words to BLM.
Another issue, is that black people also know, in general terms, that a lot of "liberal" folks like to use us and our struggle to make themselves either look better or simply feel better about themselves. That's not what BLM is for. If they want to do that they have other platforms no one is stopping them from using.
So I apologize if it seems unfair, but the the potential threat to the organization creates the need to minimize risk as much as possible because we honestly do know what we're fighting against. We know there are a lot of racists out there, in and out of uniform, protecting each other, whether they are in blue or not. We know there is insititutional and systematic racism because we've been hit with it, literally, for generations. So we don't have to convince ourselves of that. We have to convince the majority white society of that and the ones who aren't racist don't necessarily want to see the full extent of racism because they don't want to imagine it is that pervasive and they don't want to be responsible for confronting it, even though they know they have racist father, uncles, etc. But as black people are the main targets of racists we don't have the luxury of ignoring this problem and would rather confront it as peacefully as possible even though it is literally killing and re-enslaving us through federal and private prisons. And the fear that "it could have been me" is simply a fact of life we have to deal with simply because of the color of our skin.
So again... I apologize for your negative experience. I'm also happy you shared your positive experience and that you are again safe and sound and out of harms way. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for your support because you didn't have to do it. You didn't have to go there; and yet you did. We appreciate that. The world needs more like you.
May the Force be with you.
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And thank you, Dadof2many. It's uplifting to see the stories of others who are willing to do their part for justice, despite the risks to themselves.
One of the themes in both your posts that I think gets overlooked by the media and the general public: BLM is not an organization with training and resources like the police or even some of the militias that come in to agitate. By which I mean, as a protestor coming in, there's not a lot anyone can do to make sure I know how to be a positive influence right from the start. We talk about how as a Jedi group we must be cautious about how we present ourselves because of how the public sees us, but that is amplified to a level of absurdity when it comes to race issues. People expect even 19 year olds with no training and a lifetime of racial abuse to behave like politicians with an awareness of their words and actions that take years of training and support for anyone to acquire. It's a difficult journey to come from a background of pain and suffering into a space you can fight for your rights and then find that you are expected to think of all possible connotations of your words and actions. And it feels like a losing battle when no matter how hard you try, someone always seems to take things the wrong way. Which is what I think it really means to remember that anyone who is not black is a guest in a BLM space. I can understand some of the issue, through my own experience as a hispanic guy. But I cannot understand every aspect of it. The best I can do in a BLM space when I feel disenfranchised is to listen and seek to understand, and perhaps avoid the people who I cannot understand until my experiences with others leads me to a greater understanding of the situation. I know I would have trouble explaining myself well to an ally in a fight for my rights under stressful circumstances, and I would assume that is a struggle for most of us when we are at our most vulnerable.
Honestly, that's one of the reasons I've stuck around with this group as a Jedi. I need resources to help me develop my skills further in choosing my words and presentation wisely. I need to be able to use these skills under extreme pressure. I've spent the last decade improving my soft skills, and it still feels like every little mistake I make is used as an excuse for how I'm actually the aggressive one. So if that's my experience as just a hispanic guy, how much is that going on for every black person in the nation right now, especially if they choose to be activists and speak up? We choose to be Jedi and learn how to find peaceful solutions, here on these boards. But a group whose unifying goal is the safety of black people is constantly having to learn and adjust to whatever narrative the media projects, without the luxury of every participant having the same goals or values (or even close). PR is a difficult game, and one untrained attendee can be the difference between a successful day and a failure if the media just latches onto whatever they did in the right light. Which really makes me appreciate ZealotX's explanation of why the BLM protests attempt to keep the racial groups clear. If such a strategy makes it clear where the bad actors are, and keeps the amount of lying and trickery down, it seems like the only viable strategy for the situation.
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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
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OB1Shinobi wrote: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9ph5g0jb8cE
First off... powerful speech.
Secondly... I have to find it very sad... sad that a speech in black and friggin white (almost brings a tear to my eyes) is still very much relevant to our experience in 2020 where we have monitors capable of 8K resolution and more colors than you can count.
Third (should have been first), thank you for posting this video OB1. I've never seen it before but one must wonder why the media has not played this and other videos, reminding the public that what's going on is a continuation of something very old. Thank you for the opportunity to continue this conversation and speak on the issues. I appreciate just having my words considered in some small way; even if it's just one person.
Although I haven't seen this video before I have a fairly good understanding of how both MLK and Malcolm X thought about all these things. And the thing is that if you told MLK that in 2020 these are the issues we are still facing, you would have to imagine that he would have felt somewhat responsible for a lack of progress. MLK wanted things to change, just as X did. But MLK's strategy was more about awakening the minds of white society and asking them to make the necessary steps to create this change. He understood politics and he understood the system of representative democracy. In some ways he underestimated the problem and how deep it actually went. X, on the other hand, may have somewhat overexaggerated or overestimated the problem and therefore his approach was much more "by any means necessary". Of course the "necessary" part is generally what is most overlooked.
It made him sound more radical but if an onlooker thinks "by any means necessary" requires violence then what THEY are saying, not X, is that violence is necessary for this change to happen. And that is extreme but it is also very telling about the difficulty of the fight for equality and justice. Malcolm thought more so that black people would have to liberate themselves. He thought most whites were racist. Not a binary thing, but rather at different points on a spectrum. Why? Sounds completely unfair but it seemed to him like this was something they were indoctrinated and socialized into (very much what Jane Elliot says).
Both men would have agreed that black and white children could play together because neither was naturally racist. It was their parents who separate them, typically because one side didn't want it and the other side didn't have a choice. MLK found hope in the children but X believed those same children would grow up indoctrinated. Malcolm had personal experiences during his life, especially as a taxi driver, that led him to see the darker side of humanity while MLK, on the extreme other hand, was raised in the church. Two very different paths.
Both were wrong in that, like OB1's sig currently says, "people are complicated". So very true. People are a balance between the "church" side and the "taxi" side. Exposing yourself more to either side helps to engineer a more biased viewpoint. MLK's bias was in favor of, and Malcolm's bias was against. What does this mean? It means the balance of these views informs black people, as a community (not as individual members who can and will disagree), that we should keep white people at arms length until they, as individuals, show us that they're not indoctrinated deeper into the spectrum of racist attitude.
This will always seem unfair, kind of like there's a world you, as a white person, are not allowed into without some kind of special pass or 'visa'. But this world exists as a reaction (and natural balance) to a world that already existed, that black people are not allowed to enter without some kind of special pass or 'visa'. And it shows how when you create one thing, you create it's shadow whether you intended to or not. And this shadow that is automatically created to give the disenfranchised a franchise. And because it is for the disenfranchised it is for them and access must be controlled by them so that it doesn't fall into the control of the same group that created the disenfranchisement in the first place.
Let me put it in another way.
The NAACP. Perhaps many whites believe the NAACP is a leader in all of this. Why wouldn't it be? However, poll most black people from non-affluent communities, and the love for the NAACP isn't there. They feel like the NAACP is watered down and not effective because its too "integrated" and therefore mainly all about legal campaigns and seeking more integration rather than power. The NAACP even came out against MLK after he spoke out about the Vietnam War. This idea that all the moderates were always on King's side is false.
And the real truth is that MLK was executed before he could fully express his changing beliefs; like how what black people needed was economic justice, like how black people were integrating into a burning house. The problem was that the more whites pushed back against his civil rights movement the more he saw the darker side that Malcolm X had already seen. And before the two men could reconcile their views and get on the same page, just as Malcolm X had started to see the other side of whites after his visit to Mecca, and lead people in a united front for an economic revolution that could have lead to the creation of many "black wall streets"... he was executed. And since X was a threat he also had to be executed. Let's call it what it was. "Assassination" makes it seem like the powers that be had nothing to do with it.
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